Prevention

Children should not share towels, hats, combs, or clothing of an infected person. Good grooming and hygiene and frequent checks of a child's scalp can prevent the disease. once an infection has been diagnosed, all contaminated articles must be cleaned to prevent further infection. Combs, brushes, hats, scarves, and bedding must be cleaned in hot soapy water.

Ritalin (methylphenidate) A medication prescribed for children with an abnormally high level of activity, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). About 3 to 5 percent of the general population has the disorder, which is characterized by agitated behavior and an inability to focus on tasks. This central nervous system stimulant has effects similar to but more potent than caffeine— but weaker than amphetamines. It has a notably calming effect on hyperactive children and a "focusing" effect on those with ADHD.

Scientists think ADHD occurs in part because certain receptors in the brain involved in focusing attention and reining in impulsiveness fail to respond to dopamine and norepinephrine, the brain's natural neurotransmitters. It is the interaction between these chemicals and the brain's receptors that helps most people stick with tedious chores, or rein in inappropriate impulses. Researchers think that drugs like Ritalin boost the level of these brain chemicals and stimulate the inhibitory receptors—which is why a stimulant drug can increase inhibition. The drugs enter the body quickly, curing nothing but helping a child focus on the important work of learning.

Although the drug clearly reduces the symptoms of ADHD, and many students have been taking the drug for years, no studies have continued long enough to see if it has a lasting effect on academic performance or social behavior. Moreover, a positive response to Ritalin does not automatically mean a child suffers from ADHD. Stimulants can temporarily sharpen almost anyone's focus.

In fact, while most experts agree that medication can help, it is not the only solution—parents and teachers need to learn new ways (such as rewards and consequences) to teach their children how to focus and sit still. First introduced in the 1940s, Ritalin is usually prescribed as a part of a treatment plan that includes educational and psychosocial interventions for children with behavior characterized by:

ADHD Helping Your Anxious Child Audio

ADHD Helping Your Anxious Child Audio

Has Your Child Been Diagnosed With ADHD Is Coping With Your Child's Behavior Wearing You Out Are You Tired of Searching For Answers An ADHD child does not have to have a dark cloud over his or her head. If You've Got Burning Questions About ADHD, I've Got Answers.

Get My Free Audio Book


Post a comment